Sport Recife have a new selection issue as Samuel Xavier is suspended, which represents a setback with Raul Prata to replace him. On a brighter note, they will welcome back Mena, who represents a defensive improvement over Sander. Lenis is also back from suspension, enhancing their attacking bench options. Apart from Xavier’s absence, they’ve their best lineup available and will certainly field it. The -0.75 AH line seems well-placed but Sport Recife have the potential to beat it as they will play to win the game and are very strong at home. They failed to win their last two home fixtures but were unlucky in the last one as they had a good performance. Some questions remain on their motivation to achieve a high-margin win though as they’ll likely retreat back if they end up taking the lead. The 2.25 goals seems fair as Sport Recife have a decent defensive record at home as they were able to secure a clean sheet in half of their games. They have been able to create chances in all of their recent fixtures but might fall back and manage their lead if they score first. An early goal, namely if scored by Ponte, will likely be the key for the outcome as the game would certainly open up.
Ponte Preta have new selection issues as Marllon and Sheik are out, which is detrimental from an attacking perspective as Rodrigo is back, representing a minor defensive upgrade. Lucca is a doubt but is expected to play up front with Maranhão, who is back from injury, starting on the right-wing. Lucca’s absence would be a huge blow as he’s their best player; Felipe is in contention to start. Ponte Preta might find it hard to beat the +0.75 AH line, namely if Lucca is ruled out; they’re currently on a bad moment, coming from three disappointing results. Moreover, they have one the worst away records in the league and lost 3 of their last 4 away games. On a brighter note, they had good defensive displays in their last two games, which will clearly be their hope in this game. The 2.25 goals is well-placed as Ponte Preta’s attacking absences hamper their counter-attacking threat and they were able to keep two clean sheets in their last two games so, there is a decent expectation on a good defensive performance. The key for the outcome of this line will likely be an early goal as Ponte Preta will not be willing to take any kind of risks while the scores remain level.
Verdict & Prediction
Sport Recife are still in good mood for this game, despite coming from an away defeat in a tough fixture against league leaders Corinthians as they had an encouraging performance. They didn’t win their last two games but are still in 6th place, the last Copa Libertadores place, and the motivation will certainly be very high this weekend, given the winnable nature of this fixture. A draw wouldn’t be seen as a major setback but the win is clearly their main goal for this game. Hence, they will be willing to take risks throughout the game, namely during the second half if the scores are level by then.
Prediction: Sport Recife -0.75 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.96 Pinnacle